How was your 21st of March? Do you remember that day? Is there anything special?
Well for 77 million Iranians it’s a very special day. It’s the day of Persian New year. Much like most of my readers I had never heard of Persian New year or the Farsi version of Auld Lang Syne.
For my first ever Persian New Year celebration I was invited to try out Shayan’s special menu for the occasion. Shayan is a restaurant in Al Ghurair Arjaan specializing in Iranian cuisine. For those of you who are wondering it is a Persian name for girls and boys that means deserving, worthy, beautiful and lovable.
It seems that any children with that name have a lot to live up to!
When we arrived we were greeted by very friendly staff who offered us a selection of fruit juices, we went for the pineapple and watermelon both which tasted very fresh, not like they came from a carton.
We were all given a set menu were each could order one from the choice of two starters, mains and desserts.
Ricky and I decided to take advantage of being two and ordered everything in the menu!
For a starter we had a soup called Ash E Shole Galamkar (wow that’s too long to remember) this had a unique taste and color unlike anything I have tried before. The texture reminded me of lentil soup or a Thick Dal curry. It went very well with the beautiful Iranian bread which we love.
The other starter was like Iranian version of Mezze. You got a selection of fresh vegetables with some nice dipping sauce similar to Greek Tzatziki.
It was very refreshing and a contrast to the hearty soup.
For the main we had lamb on a bed of white rice with vermicelli in it. The lamb was cooked in a red sauce and had a very strong flavor which Ricky really liked and reminded him of stews that he would have back home.
The fish was served in a special Iranian style rice that I’ve never tried before. It was fresh and a unique way of eating fish for me. Although I feel the flavors worked really well together. I want to learn how to make that rice!
After our main the lovely staff shown us the traditional New year table that Persian families put out for good luck you can see it below. We were also treated to a traditional guitar player.
The dessert was a poached saffron pears alongside rose flavored sorbet. For me the flavors were unlike any desserts I had eaten before however Ricky commented that when you mix everything on the plate together it creates a lovely flavor.
Overall, I would like to thank the staff of Shayan especially Ferry for treating me to a wonderful experience. I had never considered trying Iranian food before and I have never heard of their new year celebrations.
I think Dubai is all about new experiences and this is definitely one I would never forget.